Management of Land and Marine Areas

Site management for the Ramsar site is split across Federal, State and local government. These are the Department of Defence (DoD), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GRMPA), Queensland Government and the Livingstone Shire Council (LSC).

The mainland and islands of the Shoalwater Bay section fall within the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) and are therefore managed by the DoD. The DoD manages environmental values of the terrestrial areas including activities such as pest animal and weed control and fire management. DoD currently employs Environment and Sustainability Officers to oversee environmental management activities within the SWBTA.  The Environment and Sustainability Officers also identify mitigation measures that reduce risks that Defence training and activities may pose to the Ramsar site.

Terrestrial areas of the Corio Bay section are contained within the Byfield National Park and are managed by the Queensland Government who is responsible for day-to-day management of environmental and recreational values. A smaller area of the Shoalwater Bay section which is part of the Shoalwater Conservation Park is also managed by the Queensland Government.

The marine waters surrounding are part of both State and Federal waters. Areas within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are Federal and areas within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Park are State managed. Collectively, GBRMPA, Queensland Government and the Queensland Police Service enforce regulations within these waters.

State and Australian Government Responsibilities

The State Government have a number of legislative and reporting requirements for Ramsar sites. This includes reviewing and reporting on the condition of Ramsar sites such as updating the Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS) and reporting any changes to the ecological character of the site. Other responsibilities include primary legislative and policy responsibilities and promoting the conservation of Ramsar sites.

The Australian Government also has a number of responsibilities for the management of Ramsar sites. These include coordinating reporting to the Ramsar Convention (such as updates to the RIS), implementing the EPBC Act, leading the development of national guidance and approaches to the Ramsar convention and implementing international agreements to protect migratory species such as the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) and the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA).

For more information on State (Queensland), Australian Government and landowner responsibilities see here.

Surrounding Land Management and Use

The Shoalwater Bay section of the Ramsar site is predominately surrounded by the SWBTA which is used for training Defence personnel and is managed by the Department of Defence (DoD). Along the southern boundary, the site borders Byfield National Park, commercial forests and small areas of residential blocks and rural areas. Commercial forests around the site are owned and managed by HQ plantations. The northern portion of this section also borders on land used for rangeland grazing.

The Corio Bay section is surrounded by Byfield National Park, freehold land and unallocated crown land in the south. The Byfield National Park is managed for conservation and recreation by the Queensland Government. The adjacent freehold land is used for a mix of residential blocks, farming, grazing and tourism such as the Capricorn Resort. The Livingstone Shire Council influences this land usage through zoning and local laws such as the regulation of vehicle usage on beaches.